The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins
Musical Score By: Richard and Robert Sherman
Songs Performed By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Walt Disney Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I was a kid, for some reason or another, I wasn't fond of the half-live action/half animated movie about a magical nanny and the way she changes a family for the better known as Mary Poppins. But I did love the songs. I later grew an appreciation for the movie and the musical, but it has always been the music of Mary Poppins that grabs me. As a kid, I had an album of the music and listened to it over and over again, singing along with the record as it played. People marvel at the fact that I still remember all of the words to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, that's how much I loved the album. So when I received Mary Poppins as one of the Walt Disney Records' The Legacy Collection albums for review, I was ecstatic.
The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins was released on August 26, 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film. The original Mary Poppins soundtrack featured 14 songs by Richard and Robert Sherman and remained the number one album for fourteen consecutive weeks in 1965. The songs featured the singing voices of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke as Bert, David Tomlinson as Mr. Banks and more.
The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins consists of three discs, a booklet full of information and beautiful new artwork inspired by the film, created by Lorelay Bove, all wrapped in a nice hard covered little package. The first disc features all of the music from the movie, including musical score and songs like The Perfect Nanny, A Spoonful of Sugar, Jolly Holiday, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Chim Chim Cher-ee, I Love to Laugh, Feed the Birds, Let's Go Fly A Kite and more. The second disc is reserved for eight pre-demo recordings and The Lost Chords, featuring seven demos and seven newly recorded, fully orchestrated versions of those demos.
The third disc is a special treasure and something that makes The Legacy Collection so special. This is something just for that special fan of the film and its music. You get to hear over forty minutes of excerpts from story meetings between Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, the Sherman brothers and screenwriter Don DaGradi. There is a 1989 interview with the Sherman Brothers regarding their creation of the music for Mary Poppins as well. But the best part of this disc, in my opinion, is the seventeen minute Spotlight Microphone interview with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, the Sherman brothers and music arranger Irwin Kostal. This is a great interview, but the pivotal moment comes at the end when the interviewer asks if Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke believe that Mary Poppins could some day translate into a Broadway musical. Andrews would like to say yes, but wondered how in the world they would be able to recreate the magic of the film (the animated features and special effects). However, there was an unwavering yes from Van Dyke who was quite certain that it could be done. Yes, Mr. Van Dyke, having seen the Broadway musical version of Mary Poppins, I can honestly say that you were 100% correct. What foresight! I mean, after all, this interview took place decades before the Mary Poppins ever came to Broadway. Amazing!
I absolutely loved every minute of The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins, singing along as I did when I was a kid and grinning just as broadly. Having reviewed three entries in The Legacy Collection of albums from Walt Disney Records, I see a terrific hit here. I can't wait to check out more from The Legacy Collection in the future!